[From IoM Charities, 1831]


From the Works of Bishop Wilson, vol. i. p. cxxviii.

"On his," Bishop Hildesley's, " coming to the Diocese," in the year 1756, " he undertook the arduous task of getting the Scriptures translated and printed in the Manks language, a work which had been begun by Bishop Wilson, who at his own expence, had printed the Gospel of St. Matthew, and had prepared the other Evangelists and the Acts of the Apostles for the press.

" Impressed with the deepen solicitude and concern for the spiritual welfare of the flock committed to his care, his Lordship could have no rest till he had accomplished this glorious work, which he at last did, by the Divine blessing on his endeavours, and successful application to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, together with the aid of many persons of eminence and distinction, who were pleased to patronise the undertaking. Dr. Wilson sent him the first twenty guineas, and greatly assisted the work, by giving up such parts as had been printed translated by his father.,'

" Bishop Hildesley had this work so much at heart, that he often said, ' He only wished to live to see it finished, and then he should be happy, die when he would.' He received the last part of the Bible on Sat. the 28th of Novr., 1772, and emphatically sung his Nunc Dimittis in the presence of his family, and next day in the evening, after family prayers he preached a lecture on the uncertainty of human life, how many instances were constantly happening in which people were deprived of their senses in a moment; thus in a prophetic manner foretelling his own death, for on Monday, after dining cheerfully at Bishop's Court with his family and one of his Clergy, he was seized with a stroke of the palsy, which in a moment deprived him of his senses, and in this. situation he remained until the Monday following, when he died."

The names of the Clergymen who translated the Scriptures into the Manks Language, are inserted in the Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley, published, 1799.


Extract from the Report of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, for the year 1764. p. 115.


" Hatton Garden, No. 9; May 4, 1764.

" Whereas the ancient Church and Diocese of Mann,*1 in the Province of York, supposed to contain near twenty thousand souls, the far greatest number of which are entirely ignorant of the English Language, both for many ages been destitute of a printed copy of the Holy Scriptures, and Service of the Church in the vulgar tongue commonly used in that Island; by which unhappy circumstance, the several congregations assembled for Divine Worship, were necessitated to receive an off hand translation of the English Bible and Common Prayer, according to the different sense, attention, and ability of the officiating Ministers. To remedy this, the present Bishop of that See did, in the year 1762, collect the contributions of some worthy charitable persons, and was by his success therein, encouraged to apply to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, for their advice and assistance, towards carrying this pious work into complete execution.

" The said Society having undertaken the management hereof, under the direction of the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, think proper to acquaint the world that the Benefactions already received amount to upwards of five hundred pounds. Upon which encouragement, they have printed and dispersed, gratis, in the Isle of Mann, 2000 Manks Catechisms, 1200 Christian Monitors, in Manks, and 1000 copies of the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, in the same language.

" They propose to go forward in this good design, as soon as they shall be enabled by the benevolence of well disposed persons: to which end, the Apostolical Epistles, and the Common Prayer of the Church of England, are already put into the hands of able Clergymen in the said Island, well skilled in the language, to be prepared for the press. After which the Scriptures of the Old Testament are proposed to be translated and published in the Manks Tongue, that this Diocese may be put upon a level with the rest of their neighbours, in having the pure word of God, and the Liturgy of the Church in their own language, :for the use both of the publick assemblies and of their private families. After which, if the Fund shall answer, it is proposed to publish such other books and tracts in the Manks Language, as shall be thought most suitable to promote true religion and virtue.

" The Society therefore earnestly implore the assistance of pious and charitable persons in favour of this excellent and extensive scheme; not doubting but that the same gracious Providence, which has prospered all their other undertakings for the glory of God, and the salvation of souls, will also raise up benefactors to enable them to carry on this good works'

A proposal to the same effect appears in several subsequent Reports of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

Extract from the Report for the year 1767, p. 120.

"Their present Fund for this expensive undertaking [printing the Manks Scriptures&c] amounts to £1000 in Government Securities; a considerable part of which is expected soon to be called for to supply the charges of the press. And, upon a moderate computation, upwards of one thousand pounds more than hath been received will be requisite to complete this design, especially if larger numbers be printed in future editions, with a; view: to extend the distribution so far, as that no one person of the twenty thousand natives of the Isle of Mann may be destitute of a Bible and Common Prayer Book in his native tongue, in which they never before appeared."

From the Report for the year 1781, p. 12.

" In the year l 763, the Society gave out proposals for printing Bibles, Common Prayers, and other Religious Books in the vulgar tongue of the Isle of Mann, and by the encouragement they met with, were enabled to print and disperse, gratis, among the inhabitants, 2000 Church Catechisms, 1200 Christian Monitors, 2000 Lewis's Exposition, 1000 copies of the New Testament, in octave, 1550 Common Prayers in the same size, and l000 in twelves. They have likewise printed 2000 copies of the Old Testament, in octave, together with the like number of the New, the former impressions not having been by any means sufficient to answer the demands of the people; and intend to proceed in this charitable work, and to supply the Isle of Mann with other good books and tracts, or with new editions of such as have been already published for their use."

Extract from a Letter from Bishop Hildesley to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, dated 3 April, 1764, published in Butler's Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley, 1799, p. 220.

" I, Mark Hildesley, D.D., Bishop of Sodor and Mann, among other bequests in a Will bearing date 12 Sept., 1763, do give unto Saml. Dickens, D.D., Archdeacon of Durham, and his two brothers, the Rev. Charles Dickens and Colonel Thomas Dickens, three hundred pounds, Old South Sea Annuities, standing in my name in the books of the South Sea Company, London; In trust, that they, or either of them shall, after the death of my sister, Hester Hildesley*2 pay, or cause to be paid or transferred, the said stock of £300, to one or other of the treasurers of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London; to be applied by the said Society, interest or principal, as occasion shall be, for furnishing new impressions of Manks Translations, when it shall be signified to them from the Bishop of Mann for the time being, that such new impressions of the Holy Scriptures, the Liturgy, or other good books in the Manks Tongue, are farther wanting to the people of the Isle and Diocese of Mann."

From Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley, p. 260.

"In order to complete those impressions [of the Manks Scriptures, &c] much more money was necessarily expended than the Society had received in benefactions. Two investments at different periods have come in aid of thee pious design; the one by purchase of eleven hundred pounds, New South Sea Annuities; the other, in 1792, by legacy from Bishop Hildesley, of three hundred pounds, Old South Sea Annuities. These are liberally appropriated to that account; and the dividends upon them, amounting annually to forty guineas, are applied to pay off what is due to the Society. The debt still remaining of about £180, is therefore in a gradual train of liquidation; so that in about five years the above mentioned funds will stand as a clear resource for the continuance of Manks impressions."

From the Report for the year 1794, p. 137.

" Dividends to the Manks Impressions, from 21 March, 1793, to the Audit. 3 April, 1794.

" 1794, Feb. 16. Twelve months dividend on £1100 New South Sea Annuities, due at Christmas, 1792

£33 0 0

Twelve months dividends on £300 Old South Sea Annuities, due at Michaelmas, 1792

9 0 0

£42 0 0

Since which time the sum of £42 has been annually placed to the credit of this Fund, in the Reports of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

Further information with regard to the subscriptions to this Fund may be obtained by referring to the Annual Reports of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Among the principal subscriptions, the following generous benefactions deserve to be recorded here.


Rev. Dr. Thos. Wilson, Bp. Wilson's Son

£21 0 0

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Secker

10 10 0

Ditto, second benefaction

10 10 0

Worshipful Company of Clothworkers

31 10 0

Sir John Thorold, Bart

30 0 0

Ditto, second benefaction

10 0 0

Ditto, part of legacy left to him for charitable purposes.

20 0 0

Ditto, ditto

10 10 0

Archbishop of York, Dr. Drummond

21 0 0

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge

100 0 0


Sir John Thorold, 3d.

21 0 0

Bishop of Sodor and Mann, Dr. Hildesley

60 0 0

Bishop of Durham, Dr. Trevor

20 0 0


20 0 0

Archbishop Seeker, 3d

10 10 0

Worshipful Company of Drapers

30 0 0


Ditto Grocers

,25 0 0

Mrs. Mary Stracey, legacy

60 0 0

Rev. Humphrey Thomas

10 0 0

William Wright, Esq., 2 donations

21 0 0


Sir J.Thorold, 4th

,20 0 0

Bishop of Winchester .

10 0 0

Rev. Dr. Purnell, being part of the residue of his effects left for charitable purposes

50 0 0

Archbishop Secker,dto

10 10 0


Rt. Hon. Countess of Montrath

250 0 4


50 0 0

Archbishop Secker, 5t4

10 10 0



10 10 0

A Lady,unknown.,

10 10 0

Sir John Thorold, part of a legacy left to him for charitable purposes

20 0 0


ditto, ditto

20 0 0


Rt. Hon. Lady Countess Dowager Gower, part of the charities of her late father, Thomas, Earl of Thanet

500 0 0


Bishop of Sodor and Mann, Dr. Hildesley

200 0 0

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cornwallis

20 0 0


Mrs. Jodrell, legacy

10 0 0


Rev. Dr. Peploe, legacy

20 0 0


Transfer of South Sea Annuities, pursuant to the will of Bishop Hildesley

300 0 0

" Lincoln's Inn Fields, July 13th, 1825.

" At a Meeting of the standing Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

"Read a Letter from the Bishop of Sodor and Mann, stating, that there is no longer any necessity for impressions of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer in the Manks Tongue; but that in the English Tongue they are much wanted, and sought after with great avidity. His Lordship adds, that a belief prevails in the Island, that the Society is in possession of a sum of money more immediately appropriated to the wants of the Islanders; and that he is on this account unable to procure any contributions for the furtherance of the Society's objects. He requests to be informed how far this opinion is correct; and adds, that in the Parochial Schools books are much wanted, and the teaching of the Manks Language is prohibited by Act of Parliament.*3

"Agreed to assure the Bishop of Sodor and Mann of the Society's readiness to co-operate to the utmost of its power in his Lordships endeavours to promote the spiritual edification of the people in his Diocese, and to acquaint him with the following particulars respecting what is termed the Manks Fund.

" That Fund was originally formed for the purpose of reprinting the Scriptures and Book of Common Prayer in Manks. It appears to have been a floating, not a permanent sum: and Stock was bought and sold as the receipts and expenditure required. Bishop Hildesle'r's Legacy of £300 was directed to be spent, principal and interest; and Lady Betty Hastings' Legacy of £700 was left towards carrying on the charitable designs of the Society in Great Britain. It does not appears that any Legacy was received for the permanent use of the Inhabitants of Man. And the expence of each succeeding edition of the Scriptures, was defrayed, either out of the Stock already in hand, or from special contributions for that particular purpose. In the last edition of the Prayer Book, *4 another method seems to have been adopted. The Society defrayed the whole expence, and was gradually reimbursed by the dividends arising from the remainder of the Manks Fund. Those dividends amount to £42 a year, and appear to have cleared the debt due to the Society in the year 1819.

" Under these circumstances, the Committee will gladly listen to the Bishops opinion respecting the best method of applying the Manks Fund; and will afterwards bring the subject under the notice of the Society."

"A true Copy- WILLIAM PARKER, Secretary.'

67, Lincoln's Inn Fields, October 8th, 1831,


*1 " A. D. 444, St. Patrick, accompanied by thirty religious and learned persons, on his way to Ireland, landed in the Isle of Man, then called Eubonia, where he found the people much given to superstition and magic, and by his preaching and other instruction converted them. Then proceeding to Ireland, he left and appointed, A. D. 447, Germanus, the first Bishop here, a holy and prudent man, to instruct the people in the Christian Faith."-Memoirs Bishop Hildesley, p. 286.

*2 She died February 14th, 1792.

*3 It is scarcely necessary to observe that this latter statement has arisen from misapprehension, there being of course no Act of Parliament to prohibit the teaching of the Manks Language.

*4 In the year 1808.


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